Felix Sanchez continued his domination of the 400m hurdles by taking gold at the World Athletics Championships in Paris.
The athlete from the Dominican Republic, who has not lost a
race in over two years, destroyed the field to
clock a season's best 47.25 seconds on a damp track.
American Joey Woody was a distant second in a one-sided race
with a time of 48.18 seconds, while Greek Periklis Iakovakis won
the bronze in 48.24.
South African Llewellyn Herbert, who won silver in 1997, was in contention for another medal, but fell at the final hurdle.
The 26-year-old Olympic bronze medallist slapped the track in
anger got to his feet and crossed the line in last place.
Britain's Chris Rawlinson was back in sixth place.
On the eve of his 26th birthday, Sanchez escaped the fate of
Jamaica's Brigitte Foster and Russian Yuliya Pechonkina, who
suffered shock defeats in the women's 100 and 400 hurdles finals.
"It was one of the most beautiful races of my life," said
the American-born Sanchez. "This is the best possible birthday present."
Sanchez, who sports a tattoo of Superman on his shoulder, became the first man since Ed Moses to retain the world title.